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Thank you for using History Hub. You will find more information about the SS Cape Horn in Record Group 178, Records of the U.S. Maritime Commission. The series Central Correspondence Files, 1936 - 1950 has correspondence on mechanical issues, statements of ownership and rights, costs, and fees (among other matters). The series’ National Archives Identifier is 1280557, Entry P 1.
There are two ships by the name “Cape Horn.” One was an oil screw, which was renamed the “Sea Lady.” The National Archives Catalog incorrectly refers to it as the “See Ladylad.” The file is in container 5888 and not container 5334 as the catalog claims. That file in box 5888 is approximately an inch thick.
The other vessel was the SS Cape Horn (MCE #892), which was affiliated with the United Fruit Company. Since you describe your grandfather’s vessel as a merchant ship, we assume the latter ship is correct. Its records are in box number 4561.
The SS Cape Horn has two folders’ worth of records, approximately an inch and a quarter thick, and date from July 1942 up to February 1950.
We suggest you contact the reference branch at Archives II to look into the matter further. They are reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of luck in your research. We hope you find what you’re looking for!